After a rocky two years, with insults hurled, battling sides and all manner of drama, council may finally be looking to set their differences aside and work together. The people of Brampton can only hope.
Councillor Gurpreet Dhillon put forward a motion on Wednesday to have council go through a series of workshops on respect, courtesy and the code of conduct they all prescribe themselves to when they become councillors.
The motion was passed, but not before rehashing some of council’s less than savoury moments over the past two years.
It was revealed that Councillor Michael Palleschi (Ward 2-6) was indeed the person heard laughing at Dhillon’s remarks during a budget meeting just a few weeks ago.
A video has been making the rounds on Facebook of Dhillon expressing concern over council spending, namely their decision last March to give the Brampton Beast, a privately owned hockey team, $1.5 million in public funds over the next three years.
Palleschi is heard laughing off camera at 1:30.
This workshop isn’t the first attempt to mend fences. Last February Mayor Linda Jeffrey extended an olive branch to battling councillors, but it was met with even more contention.
Councillors refused to come together to clear the air and move forward more collaboratively.
Much of council’s drama is reminiscent of the same divisiveness that permeated the last council under former mayor Susan Fennell, a divisiveness that new mayor Linda Jeffrey seems determined to shake.
“Council obviously does not need to agree on everything, as is evidenced by lively debates on councillor salaries, the Brampton Beast bailout or the HMLRT. However, that does not mean we cannot work together in creating a better Brampton,” says Jeffrey.
Councillors have agreed to the workshops, where they may be able to mend some of their broken fences and move forward more positively in 2017.